Grading a Draft immediately after it concludes is silly. We have no idea how players will actually pan out. That doesn’t stop anybody from trying. What did ESPN’s Mel Kiper give the Jets for their 2017 class?
New York Jets: B+
New York didn't address its top two needs -- QB and OT -- with this class, but here's why I'm not faulting the strategy: The Jets clearly went best-player-available throughout the class, and they didn't reach. That's hugely important for a team with one of the worst all-around rosters in the league. So while I don't think their quarterback of the future is on their roster, I can't knock not seeing the value in taking a developmental signal-caller when Christian Hackenberg is already that guy. And in one of the worst offensive line classes in recent history, they didn't try to get a raw prospect in the middle rounds. They stuck to their board, and I can respect that.
Jamal Adams is simply a fantastic player and value at No. 6 overall, and Marcus Maye at the top of the second round is right where I thought he'd go. This puts the roster spots of Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist in tenuous positions, but New York is at least willing to see its flaws and try to correct them. Ardarius Stewart, Chad Hansen and Jordan Leggett all should help the passing game -- and whoever's throwing them the ball. Leggett, in particular, could be a starter when the season begins.
Credit general manager Mike Maccagnan, too, for trading down and acquiring extra picks four times, and picking up an extra fifth-round pick in 2018. He knows the roster's deficient, and this isn't a one-year fix.
I’m not about to give a grade, but in terms of big picture strategy I think Kiper makes a number of valid points. From the focus on overhauling the safety position to the focus on trading down to acquire extra picks, I saw moves that made sound strategic sense for the long term. Taking a pair of safeties early and trading down are not going to be popular moves. They don’t provide the buzz that a quick fix is possible.
Were they the wrong moves? It depends on how good the players turn out to be. A lot of today’s critics will be praising the thinking if the picks pan out.